The most Popular Posts of the past seven days.

Jul 22, 2019


     I saw one of the Google mapping vehicles on Norman Bridge Road in Montgomery this morning...I think that is the first time I've spotted one.
Guess we'll have new images of the area soon. How much does the company spend on that massive project???


Montgomery's weeks without a murder are over.

Police in Montgomery are investigating a Sunday night shooting death. 

It's the first murder in the capital city since June 20th.

Jul 21, 2019

David Bronner Selling AT&T, GM, Buying WalMart

RSA Head David Bronner (l)


Alabama’s Pension Sold AT&T, GM, and FedEx Stock, and Bought Walmart







Stock in Walmart has also outperformed the S&P 500 so far in the third quarter, rising 3.1% since the end of June. Walmart stock has surged 22.3% so far in 2019, setting a record intraday high of $115.49 this past Tuesday. The shares have more than erased 2018’s 5.6% drop. 

Sen. Booker: Shades of George Wallace

     Cory Booker on CNN this morning, commenting on the controversy over the president's tweets against four Democratic Congresswoman of color.

"This is somebody who is very similar to George Wallace, to racists who use — he's using the exact same language," Booker pointed out. Wallace, who ran for president from Alabama, was known for using racist language throughout his campaigns and time as governor.
"As somebody texted me during [Trump's] rallies, I have seen this before — in black and white," Booker said. "And now I'm seeing it again decades later, where I thought our country was beyond this. I'm seeing this in full color."

Language: Rhetoric

     In March of 2012, I posted about a humorous website that features a word program that creates random phrases. 
     One version is a "Random political Rhetoric Generator". It creates political messages like this:

"I refuse to support an America where drug companies and communists can sabotage our Christian traditions!"

HERE's the website.....spend a few minutes on it...and wonder about the things politicians and others say.

Media: CNN

     Some writer at CNN apparently forgot a fairly simple rule: the race of a person is included in a story only if it is significant to the story. If it is part of an overall description of a suspect in a crime story, fine. Or of there is a racial angle to the story.

But not this:

(CNN)A Baltimore deputy police commissioner was robbed at gunpoint, the police department said Saturday.
Deputy Commissioner Daniel Murphy and his wife were walking Friday night near Patterson Park when a white SUV with four people in it approached them, the department said in a statement emailed to CNN. Two black men, believed to be about 18 years old, got out of the SUV and approached Murphy and his wife, the department said.

With that said, I hope police identify and charge suspects, whatever their race may be.

A Murderless Month in Montgomery

According to an online tally of murders in the Capital City, there has not been a murder in four weeks!

     The last murder recorded was on June 20...a month ago. Hershel Simmons was shot to death on Gibbs Circle. 

The murderless four weeks in Montgomery comes as police in a Massachusetts town are asking criminals to stop comitting crimes while the heat wave CNN reports:

"It is straight up hot as soccer balls out there," the department wrote in the post, which has racked up more than 106,000 shares since Friday.

Yes, a police department really used the phrase "hot as soccer balls."
The department confirmed to CNN Saturday that the post is, indeed, legit.
The heat is criminal enough. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for parts of the eastern United States, including Braintree in eastern Massachusetts.

Jul 20, 2019

How much hotter are today's Summers?

    The N.Y. Times has an interactive display that shows how much hotter Summer is than the year you were born. Here's one example for Montgomery comparing 1960 and now:

Hot enough for you?

Food: Why "Dollar Stores" Hurt the poor.

     The Birmingham city council has approved a measure limiting new "Dollar General" and "Dollar Tree" type stores from opening new locations within a certain distance of existing stores.
      As CNN reported:

"Advocates of tighter controls on dollar stores say the big chains intentionally cluster multiple stores in low-income areas. That strategy discourages supermarkets from opening and it threatens existing mom-and-pop grocers, critics say."

As posted earlier here on, the grocery business is facing a new disruption in Alabama with the arrival of Aldi, a German chain that lowers prices by limiting selection and, famously, charging a quarter to "rent" a shopping cart....the money is returned when the cart is replaced. Aldi is challenging Walmart, which recently opened several groceries only stores in Montgomery.

MEDIA: The Montgomery Advertiser

    It may be about to become part of a HUGE MEGA-CHAIN of Newspapers

"A combined Gannett and GateHouse would create a superchain that owned and operated more than one-sixth of all daily newspapers in the country — a prospect I first reported on in mid-May. The merged company would control 265 dailies with a combined daily print circulation of about 8.7 million. The next largest newspaper chain in print circulation is McClatchy, well behind at about 1.7 million..."

Read Ken Doctor's complete report HERE

Jul 18, 2019

UPDATE: The Failure of Montgomery's 311 System

     A friend of mine has unfortunately become accustomed to people dumping their garbage in the streets near his home in the Normandale Neighborhood.

     So he was not shocked when a mattress appeared across the street. I suggested he call 311---the number residents of the city are supposed to use to report stuff like, well, like a mattress dropped off by some thoughtless people.

From the City of Montgomery's website:


We provide uncomplicated access to City services and information.

From reporting graffiti, overgrown grass or potholes, to finding out where to vote plus a whole lot more – our 311 agents are ready to help.


He made his first call to 311 three weeks ago yesterday.
He called 311 again two weeks ago yesterday.
He called 311 again a week ago yesterday.

The mattress is still there as of Thursday 7-18-19.

This is an election year, with candidates running for city council and mayor.  


When you come across one of the candidates, ask them why it seems to be impossible to get trash picked up????????  And ask what they plan to do about it!

Not to mention the sanitation trucks that passed the mattress on their routes and left it there for three weeks. 

UPDATE: As of Sunday 7-21, the mattress is still there.

Education: College Debt. We're Number 5! We're Number 5!

5. Alabama• Avg. debt per borrower: $31,861 • Graduates with debt: 50% (11th lowest) • Adults with a bachelor's degree: 25.5% (8th lowest) • Median household income: $48,123 (6th lowest

 Pennsylvania is number one with the most debt ($36,193)

Utah is number 50 with the least debt ($18,425)

Surprising how many "poor states", like Alabama and West Virginia, are high on the list.

Media: Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure!

From this morning's Washington Post, in a story about a CNN panel supportive of Trump:

The seemingly random group of eight women were, in fact, members of an organized group dedicated to promoting Trump. The group calls itself the Trumpettes of America 2019 Palm Beach Team, although CNN and correspondent Randi Kaye didn’t mention anything about such a group. Nor did the anchors, including Anderson Cooper, who introduced Kaye’s report.

No comment to the Post from CNN.

Moon shots

NASA has released some additional material from Apollo 11, including shots like this one, an amazing panorama. I'm sure the Luddites who say we never went to the moon will be busy searching for hidden wires etc on what they think is a movie set. And look! Isn't that a coke bottle on the ground? Sigh.

Jul 17, 2019

Medicaid Expansion Benefits

They go well beyond the health benefits to the uninsured poor...

     But so far, Governor Ivey has refused to take the leadership role in applying for the Medicaid Expansion.

To date, 37 states (including DC) have adopted the Medicaid expansion and 14 states have not adopted the expansion. Current status for each state is based on KFF tracking and analysis of state expansion activity.
To view this data in a table format, click here. To download a Powerpoint slide of the expansion status map, click here.

Media: Empty newsroom desks

PEW Report: "...the number of newsroom employees at newspapers dropped by 47 percent between 2008 and 2018"....and newsrooms across the media spectrum were also hit with staff reductions. 

What do you tell students studying journalism?

HERE is the full PEW report.


     Tickets for the event in September range from $400.00 to $100,000.00 (for a table for12). 
     And of course you have to get to New York City, unless you just want to send a check.

Jul 16, 2019

Strange: MBOE Has Already Failed (UPDATED)

     In the aftermath of the Todd Road incident in Montgomery in 1983, resident formed a group to ease racial tensions. They called it "One Montgomery" and it still exists.

     In fact I attended their monthly meeting this morning, invited by Jeannie Graetz, who with her husband Rev. Robert Graetz were instrumental in forming the group. This morning's speaker was outgoing mayor Todd Strange.

 Strange is not running for re-election, but a handful of others are running to replace him, all but one of them African-American.

      Strange told the group they should insist those candidates run on a platform of what they will do for Montgomery, as opposed to a platform based on their allegation that Strange has failed.
     Speaking of failure, Strange said the newly elected Montgomery County School Board has already failed city residents by not supporting charter schools as a part of a solution to the system's  problems. In fact, he encouraged the group to support a measure that would change the Montgomery board from elected to appointed.

UPDATE: Not long after the Todd Strange speech to "One Montgomery", the Montgomery Board of Ed moved towards charter schools acceptance:

“I think that I wanted more information and I think the board appreciated getting more information about charter schools. I think we were rushed last February so this gave us an opportunity to learn more,” said (MBOE President Claire) Weil.

Jul 15, 2019

Two weeks remaining in Stonehenge photo exhibit

The "9" photo exhibit is up for two more weeks at the Stonehenge Gallery in Montgomery....till July 31st......HERE is the info.

The night of the opening reception.   

Many of those who entered the photo competition are on display.
And each of the "9" members had one photo in the exhibit. 
All are for sale, by the way.

Here's mine, still available as of yesterday....."No angels were harmed..."

Artist and gallery Assistant Director Madison Faile was there,

"Business development teams from Huntsville, Mobile, Auburn, the Wiregrass area, Tuscaloosa, and Birmingham/Jefferson County are also present at the air show." (from made in )

     I know we've asked this question before, but why is Montgomery not included in the Paris Air Show business development meetings?


 Montgomery was, after all, the site of the first Wright Brothers Flying School...


...and is about to be home to a squadron of F35 fighter jets at the only Air Force Base in the state.

And it's the damned capital city!
Was there not a seat on your plane for the Capital City, Governor?